Thu | Apr 19, 2018

Restructure, modernise Ports Security Corps

Published:Thursday | March 17, 2016 | 12:04 AM


The Port Security Corp was given the mandate to tackle the illicit drugs trade in 1989 at our international airports.

As one of the entities that fall under the Ministry of Transport Works and Housing, nothing much has happened to Port Security Corp in terms of legislation and restructuring from its inception. This has affected Port Security Corp to operate with proper authority and efficiency in a saturated market with security companies.

In recent years Port Security Corp has been in the news for not paying millions of dollars in statutory deductions owed to the government. A few months ago Urban Development Corporation disclosed that Corp owes them $25 million in rental cost.

This organisation with responsibilities to protect and safeguard the nation's airports and seaports isn't efficient and needs major modernisation. The Ministry with responsibility for Port Security Corp has failed to recognise the true potential of this organisation.

Successive governments have never mentioned the Port Security Corp and their value to the tourism sector and the economy of Jamaica. This organisation must be restored, so it can provide world-class security and safeguard the airports and seaports of Jamaica.

The Ministry of Transport, Work and Housing needs to address these urgently:

1. Whether Port Security Corp is a private security or government entity;

2. Address the transportation that operates the Corp on a daily basis, especially in the western section of the Island.

3. Appoint managers and board members with better version to lead and govern.

4. Set the legislative frame work to give Port Security more authority, power and control at all ports of entry.

5. Make funding where necessary from government or private sector aid, to modernise and make it efficient.